Why not store tea in the refrigerator?
I have stored tea in the refrigerator for years. Now I find out that I am doing it wrong? Tea is supposed to be stored in a dark cool place. Okay. The only dark cool place that I have, particularly in the summertime, is in my refrigerator. I’m told that this is wrong—but no one ever says why it is wrong. Can someone enlighten me?
I think it is largely a concern about humidity and condensation. When the tea is removed for use it may warm up and gather condensation which would result in damp tea which is bad for the tea and also possibly result in mould. Fridges also tend to be humid which is good for some and bad for others. I think it is up to you though. There aren’t many hard and fast rules with tea.
It mostly depends on your location from what I understand. Living in UK we don’t really reach temperatures here high enough to dry out and spoil tea, therefore a dark, cool and dry place is sufficient enough to store my teas.
And as Uniquity said it depends on the types of teas as well. Frankly I would say that if you like the results of keeping your teas in the fridge then carry on with it.
Sounds like it is not a mortal sin. Thank you both for responding!
Another issue is that refrigerators often have heavy smells. Tea can absorb these scents very easily.
When tea growers use refrigerators they are dedicated to just tea and they use heavy packages that are vacuum sealed.
I’ve heard of people storing matcha in the fridge as it’ll keep it fresh longer (as the shelf life on matcha isn’t that great). Also, if you live in a humid climate, fridge or freezer is probably your only option – heard Florida people storing even their spices in the freezer as they will go moldy.
I couldn’t do it myself, storing 300 teas in the fridge would require multiple refrigerators so I don’t contaminate the teas. Like right now there’s a salmon lox I’m curing in the fridge that’s pretty scented. I think if you keep your house reasonably cool, put everything into dark tins, you are fine storing outside the fridge (barring climate issues). Only tea I put in the fridge is tea that is already steeped.
Okay, I get that teas can absorb smells from the refrigerator. That makes sense— I have some smoked salmon in the freezer and now I have smokey flavored ice cream. Good point!
Somewhere I remember reading on a Japanese tea seller’s site that they recommended storing sealed packages of green tea in the refrigerator, but not for opened packages. I guess it makes since to refrigerate green teas since it’s so important to fore green tea to be fresh.
It should be fine as long as the tea isn’t going to absorb any smells, but I don’t think this would provide much benefit except for greens and green oolongs, and maybe Darjeeling.